Zanzibar accomodations final questions

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Nov 17th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #1
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Zanzibar accomodations final questions

My daughter and I will be in zanzibar in Jan. She wants to dive a couple days and I will snorkel some. I emailed Matemwe beach and got a reply from ATR, who said they are the booking agent. I have a couple questions.
The room is not air conditioned. Is that OK? He said it gets the ocean breeze.
Are there comparable places for diving in a moderate price range?
Is there anything for me to do there since I don't dive? We'll be there 3 days.

We'll have an overnight in Stone town. Tembe House or Dhou Palace?
Thanks.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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She doesn't want AC. In that type of climate it is very easy to get a cold with AC and then she will not be able to dive. A place with an overhead fan should be alright, but not necessary.
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Nov 18th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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We were in Zanzibar in July--I think it's hotter in Jan., but not sure. I'm not an a/c person because I live in SF where we almost never need it. I was perfectly fine on the east coastof Zan.--the ocean breeze kept us comfortable. But Stone Town was hot hot hot. Glad we had a/c there.

Of course this is very individual and really depends on how well you tolerate heat/humidity, especially at night while you're trying to sleep. The fans were sufficient for us.

Have fun, marathon2!
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Nov 18th, 2005, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the responses. We live in Alaska and I'm not sure how we'll do with heat. My daughter grew up here and thinks 80 is miserably hot! Matemwe beach sounds perfect except for lack of AC.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Matemwe Beach Village's website indicates that they have 2 a/c units. Did you ask about them?
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Nov 21st, 2005, 07:39 PM
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I'e asked ATR, but still don't have a response.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:26 AM
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bat
 
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Hope it works out. We are taking a chance and staying at the Matemwe Bungalows in Feb. without a/c. Both properties are very popular so I am telling myself that if it was so miserable to sleep there they would not be that popular.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 09:16 PM
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got the response: no rooms with ac available. Am looking at the blue bay beach resort now.
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 02:56 AM
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At Blue Bay you'll get a/c as well as ceiling fans. This way you have the option to use one or both depending on just how hot or humid it is inside your room.

While larger (# of rooms) than Matemwe it is a higher quality property and there's plenty of space to be off on your own, as you wish. Hope you can get space here.
 
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:22 AM
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Sandi, are you at Blue Bay?
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 09:39 AM
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marathon -

No, I'm in New York.

But I do often refer folks to accommodations with a/c when visiting the coastal areas of both Kenya and Tanzania. Granted there are plenty of lovely, small, intimate resorts without a/c; even Mnemba which is exclusive on its own island (at $600+/ppnt) doesn't have a/c... so it remains a very personal choice.

From my experience on Zanzibar this past June (which is like Fall going into Winter in the Southern hemisphere)... it was hot and very humid. While we were on the beach or at the pool, there was a lovely breeze, but once in our cottage, the ceiling fan just didn't do it. The a/c made for comfortable sleeping, though when getting dressed and using the bathroom which the a/c didn't quite reach... like a sauna.

This same comment had been made on a trip report from visitors who stayed at Matemwe - they loved the place, but the lack of a/c was a definite negative.

Few properties with the word "cottage" or "bungalow" in their name, have a/c, and though usually small and more intimate, many visitors prefer the comfort of a/c and not have to depend on whether there will be a breeze.

Personally, I'd rather have the a/c and maybe not have to use it, then not have and be uncomfortable, especially when sleeping. At least there are choices.

Check out the Blue Bay site:

http://www.bluebayzanzibar.com/
 
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Dec 7th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Sandi,
Thought I'd give you an update. ATR raised the price at Matemwe even after they'd sent the invoice and it had been paid for a couple days. I got an email that said, 'Sorry but you have to pay more." Since that had been their consistent quote and I had paid it within 48 hours of the receiving the invoice, I told them to cancel and I reserved at Blue Bay. I think the nicer place will be worth the $.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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marathon:
That (ATR's behaviour) is terrible--glad that you cancelled and found other accommodations.
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Dec 8th, 2005, 04:32 AM
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marathon -

Even after you paid in full, ATR increased the price. Surprising.

Certainly there have been mid-year price increases - this year: for petrol and/or avgas for the planes; a new security charge when departing Tanzania - both of which are worldwide issues.

There have also been instances where new owners take over a property and adjust prices upward; little you can do. But I have a problem if they ask clients for additional money if prepayment for their stay has been made.

Providers of service should include a disclaimer in the "Not included in Price" section of their proposal, something to the effect "increases beyond our control"

However, the petrol/gas adjustments are understandable, even at last minute (they are small) so client should be aware; but for a room (again often a small amount) the outfitter should eat it, but be certain the increased price are offered prospective clients.

I'm sure you'll be pleased at Blue Bay.
 
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Dec 8th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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AtR said their computer gave the wrong price, but it did 3 times over a couple weeks including the invoice I sent payment on. I sent payment quickly after I received invoice-that was the reason I had a problem with the change. However, I'd wanted air conditioning and was just staying at Matemwe because of the atmosphere-seemed like it would have more people my daughter's age. I think it is going to work out anyway-as these things often do.
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Dec 8th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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ATR should be big enough to eat their own mistake and absorb the cost difference. I could never imagine doing that to one of my clients, even if it means that I would make no commission on a property or even suffer a loss. I am happy that I booked my Zanzibar extension with Sandi at Africa Serendipity, as I would not be too pleased if their computer made an error on my booking and they ended up requesting more money after I had already paid. My safari portion and pre-safari 3 night stay in Arusha is through ATR but they have been pretty quiet. Once they get the money there is no communication whatsoever...it's so lonely being an ATR customer!
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Dec 8th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Rocco:
That's why you have this board!
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Dec 8th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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ttt and note to Roccco - just looked at your pics, the "best of" section and am lusting to transport myself behind a lens to get similar views!
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Dec 8th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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merrittm,

Have you decided where/when you'd like to go? You'll end up with about a million ideas if you keep reading this board...I think I'll have a pretty good idea of my next-next and the-one-after-that safari trips after Patty posts her report.

Good luck!
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